Mowbray Rangers Under 13s warmed up for their quarter-final date with a solid victory at in-form Barwell on Sunday.
Barwell were unlucky not to take the lead in an even first 20 minutes when a shot from 30 yards lobbed keeper Bailey only for a freak bounce to lift the ball over the bar.
Managers Bailey and Brighty brought on Monty Lomas who changed the game. He held off three defenders and calmly slotted home to give Mowbray a slender half-time lead.
Mowbray were more dominant at the start of the second half with the back four of Rudkin, Barker, Ward and Parker in command of everything thrown at them.
Lomas doubled the lead, again holding off defenders to place the ball home, and the tenacious Phillip Aymes added a third to put the game out of Barwell’s reach.
Lomas completed his hat-trick as Mowbray powered forward. The visitors were denied by a great save from the keeper and a defender’s goal-line clearance but Rangers had their nap hand when Barker fired in a free-kick from 25 yards.
On Sunday, Mowbray travel to Thurmaston for a Chairman’s Cup quarter-final, hoping for another impressive performance.
* Mowbray Rangers Girls U13s faced their toughest assignment against reigning league champions Leicester Ladies Fosse in the quarter-finals of the league cup.
But Rangers underlined their progress this season by taking the unbeaten hosts to a penalty shoot-out before bowing out.
The hosts started quickly and were allowed to pass the ball without pressure, something which hadn’t been part of Mowbray’s pre-match team talk.
Rangers started to impose their style of play on the champions and Keenan soon found herself one-on-one with the keeper after a sublime pass from captain Ella,. But the keeper stood firm and saved.
The visitors raised their game and looked the better team, with the back three of Farrow, Cook-Snow and Moule frustrating the hosts into fouls on the right-back Cook Snow who was excellent.
Baker, player-of-the-match McDaid, and Wright pulled the strings in midfield, and after 20 minutes their great work set up striker Manning who turned and found her strike partner Keenan to smash home for a deserved lead.
Leicester’s frustrations continued after half-time as they removed their top scorer who had been closely guarded all game by Ella.
Cook-Snow was again in the thick of things, dealing with the many attacks with strong tackles, supported by Farrow and Moule.
But the breakthrough came after 40 minutes against the run of play.
Rangers found themselves under the cosh, with keeper Scallon making some great saves.
But the introduction of Sophie and Alice created late chances for Manning and Keenan, but they could not convert, while Keenan also saw a late free-kick saved before the game went into extra time.
Mowbray had a string of corners whipped in by Baker, but Leicester survived the pressure and the game went to a nerve-jangling penalty shoot-out.
Scallon saved the first attempt, but Baker missed by a fraction. Leicester scored their second, but Keenan rifled home an equaliser.
Rangers missed their next two from Townsend and Manning to lose the shoot out 3-1, but Rangers showed overall how their hard work on the training field is paying off.
Rangers: Leah, Ellie, Charlotte, Lauren, Ella (c), Erin, Evie, Rhea, Isobel, Alice, Sophie, Lilly.